(Pocket-lint) - Southwing is a newcomer to the Bluetooth headset market in the UK. But can the unheard of brand make it in an over saturated market. We started making some calls.
Southwing hail from Barcelona and is aiming to mix it with the big boys and of the two models here, the Neo 507 and the Neovoice USB, I can honestly say that probably only one of them is likely to cut the mustard.
The 507 is the more expensive of the two at £45.95 (expansys.com) but it has one enormous advantage over its cheaper cousin. The Neovoice USB (£37.95) can only be worn on your right ear. As soon as I realised this I almost put it straight back in the box. However to be able to offer an honest review to you, dear reader, I felt it necessary to give it a once over.
The Neovoice USB is cheap and plasticky to handle and really doesn’t strike me as all that robust. On a positive note this does mean that the unit is fairly light and relatively comfortable to wear, but the “right ear only” design is a major flaw in my opinion.
The Neo 507 on the other hand is completely customisable, including four different colour plastic mouldings and “either ear” positioning. It is equally light (again due to a slight build) but more comfortable than the Neovoice USB due to some well-placed rubberised material.
For both models the only means of input is a multi-directional scroll-wheel, which took some time to master as it can be a little over-sensitive, but does the job adequately. Pairing was straightforward and connection integrity was excellent: I didn’t have a single dropped connection with either unit - something that some more famous (and more expensive) headsets that I’ve played with cannot boast.
One very useful feature of both headsets is the ability to charge the units from a USB port. Bizarrely though, despite its name, the USB model doesn’t actually come with a USB cable in the box - something of a drawback as it’s probably the major selling point of the Southwing products. The 507 however, comes with a cable as well as a handy in-car charger.
On the whole the Southwing products are affordable and easy to use, but I have serious doubts about their build quality, so perhaps you are getting what you pay for.
That said, they are probably more than adequate for anybody other than a heavy user and they also look a lot less like Star Trek props than some other manufacturers' headsets.